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Celebrating its 90th year, ABE returns to successful past Page Hero Image

Celebrating its 90th year, ABE returns to successful past

Celebrating its 90th year, ABE returns to successful past

January 16, 2020

911,970 passengers – highest total since 2004

(Hanover Township, PA) – While celebrating its 90th Anniversary last year, Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) produced more evidence that a return to one million passengers isn’t far off the radar.

“Can we get there in 2020, it’s a possibility but there are plenty of factors beyond our control. We just want to express our thanks and appreciation to every passenger, stakeholders, and staff for an amazing year,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).

911,970 passengers traveled through ABE in 2019 – a 15.01 percent increase from 2018 –  highest total since in 2004 (1,024,638).

Month                   Passengers          Percentage increase        Month                  Passengers

Jan. – Dec. ’19            911,970                       15.01%                   Jan. – Dec. ’18        792,974

“It seemed like every month, something exciting was happening at your neighborhood airport. Four air service additions (flights to Chicago aboard American, plus Allegiant bring three new destinations: Nashville, Savannah / Hilton Head, Sarasota); Allegiant chose us as their 18th aircraft base; the unveiling of plans for a $22 million TSA checkpoint expansion and terminal connector, and of course cutting the ribbon on our most popular arrival Dunkin,” said Stoudt.

It was also a December to remember for ABE with 72,150 passengers choosing their neighborhood airport – a 17.41% increase from the same month the previous year. ABE also extended a streak of 27 consecutive months of positive passenger growth dating back to October 2017.

Month             Passengers                Percentage increase             Month             Passengers

Dec. ’19               72,150                                 17.41%                        Dec. ’18               61,453

By the numbers in December, Allegiant reported a total passenger increase of 39.8%, followed by American up 28%. Delta remained flat, while United posted a 14.6% decline for the month.

Looking ahead to the next twelve months, ABE expects a spike in passenger activity during peak travel hours. Giving yourself extra time can be the difference between boarding and missing your flight.

“We encourage passengers to arrive at least an 1 ½ before their flight to ensure they process to the TSA checkpoint in enough time so they can reach their gate for boarding,” said Colin Riccobon, Director of Public & Government Relations.

Late last year, the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA) introduced and discussed a preliminary pathway to further elevate the customer experience.

“Information obtained from the Master Plan Update for ABE has supported the Airport’s assertion that traffic will significantly increase in the future, but with passenger growth happening faster than our forecasts, we must address these essential infrastructure improvements with a heightened priority,” said Stoudt.

This multi-phase and multi-million dollar investment project will help ensure ABE maintain’s a competitive edge while delivering the Airport Authority’s vision of being the best regional airport system in North America. There are two main areas of focus:

Phase 1 is the Main Terminal TSA Checkpoint, Connector, and Vertical Circulation upgrades which has an expected project duration of approximately three years with a total cost of approximately $22 million.

Projection completion date is expected in 2023.